What purpose is served by introducing the old lady as an informer in "The Sniper"?

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Liam O'Flaherty's short story "The Sniper " is about a Republican sniper on a Dublin rooftop during the Irish Civil War. The war involved Republicans, who believed Ireland should have total autonomy, against Free Staters, who had agreed on a treaty with Britain. Free State troops were aided...

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Liam O'Flaherty's short story "The Sniper" is about a Republican sniper on a Dublin rooftop during the Irish Civil War. The war involved Republicans, who believed Ireland should have total autonomy, against Free Staters, who had agreed on a treaty with Britain. Free State troops were aided by the British and eventually won the war.

The protagonist is in a city full of enemies and is suspicious of everyone. The "old woman" points to the roof where the sniper is hiding and he kills her and the armored car commander.

The old woman's death signifies the cruelty of a war that involves soldier and civilian alike. She is a citizen of Dublin who risks her life to "inform" on an enemy in a bitter fight that involved intense hatred on both sides. The atrocities hit a fever pitch when the Republican sniper kills his Free State counterpart and discovers his enemy is really his own brother.   

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